Oran Tully: much-loved figure in Irish soccer community

An Appreciation

Oran Tully: inspired many with his courage and zest for life

Oran Tully: inspired many with his courage and zest for life


Oran Tully died at the age of 19 years on August 26th after a long and brave battle with serious illness throughout his short life. Oran was born on May 27th, 1999. He suffered from a bowel condition which meant that he was unable to consume solid foods and was totally dependent on intravenous food. Despite his serious health issues, Oran was determined to live life to the full. His motto was, “I am not here for a long time, I am here for a good time”, and with his inspirational determination and the unstinting support of his family and friends, Oran lived that motto to the full. He never allowed his health issues to dim his spirits or hold him back. As his father Martin said, “He marched to his own tune”. His love and zest for life were an inspiration to all who had the privilege to know him. He always inspired and motivated others with his passion, enthusiasm and boundless optimism.

He was a passionate and devoted fan of the Republic of Ireland soccer team, Bohemians and Chelsea. In 2013 he appeared on the Sky Sports series My Special Day when he spent a day at Stamford Bridge and managed to charm John Terry, José Mourinho and Roman Abramovich, an impressive feat which was indicative of his infectious personality. The YouTube version of My Special Day has attracted over 3.5 million views.

Oran had an encyclopaedic knowledge of soccer and was passionate about every aspect of the game. He played regularly for his home club Skerries Town and was involved in coaching younger members of the club. This was a remarkable achievement given the constraints which his health issues imposed on him. Oran’s presence at any match would always be noticed because of his witty commentary on the game and his exuberant exhortations. He was known throughout the soccer community in Ireland and England as the “Ginger Mourinho”. He also hosted his own YouTube channel which garnered many subscribers .

In his personal life Oran always made time for his friends and often prioritised their needs over his own. He never wallowed in self-pity but grasped life with both hands and lived it to the full. In his 19 years Oran did more than many of us could hope to do in 90 years. His ability to lead such an inspirational life owes much to the support which he received from his family, especially his parents Martin and Clare and his brothers Dáire and Conall. Through their support they gave him “wings to fly” and to achieve as much as he possibly could in his short life. They can be very proud not only of Oran but of the way they allowed him to flourish.

Everyone is heartbroken at Oran’s death and this was reflected in the huge turnout at his funeral in Skerries which included many Skerries Town and Bohemian players. There has also been an enormous outpouring of sympathy on social media and at the recent Bohemian matches in the Brandywell in Derry and against Cork city in Dalymount. Oran left an indelible and positive impression on everyone who met him and the world is certainly a better place for his being and a sadder (and indeed quieter) place for his passing. Sympathy is extended to his parents Martin and Clare, his brothers Dáire and Conall and his extended family and friends. May he rest in peace.